Resentment and the Feminine in Nietzsches Politico-Aesthetics

By (author) Caroline Joan S. Picart

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 June 1999

Length of book:

216 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271018898

Nietzsche's remarks about women and femininity have generated a great deal of debate among philosophers, some seeing them as ineradicably misogynist, others interpreting them more favorably as ironic and potentially useful for modern feminism. In this study, Kay Picart uses a genealogical approach to track the way Nietzsche's initial use of "feminine" mythological figures as symbols for modernity's regenerative powers gradually gives way to an increasingly misogynistic politics, resulting in the silencing and emasculation of his earlier configurations of the "feminine."

While other scholars have focused on classifying the degree of offensiveness of Nietzsche's ambivalent and developing misogyny, Picart examines what this misogyny means for his political philosophy as a whole. Picart successfully shows how Nietzsche's increasingly derogatory treatment of the "feminine" in his post-Zarathustran works is closely tied to his growing resentment over his inability to revive a decadent modernity.

“A significant contribution to both Nietzsche scholarship and feminist theory, Picart’s well-written book insightfully shows how Nietzsche’s myths of femininity are central to his political philosophy. Her treatment of the evolution of Nietzsche’s ideas is especially impressive.”

—Kelly Oliver, SUNY, Stony Brook